US launched raid in Syria to rescue American hostages held by Islamic State

Published on Aug 20, 2014 by Mass Tea Party

 

Long War Journal, By

The US military attempted to rescue “a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State,” the Department of Defense’s spokesman said today. The rescue attempt failed as the hostages were not at the location of the raid.

“The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the [Islamic State,or ISIL],” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement released on the Department of Defense’s website. “This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.”

The exact location of the raid inside Syria was not disclosed by the US military.

Kirby indicated that top tier US special operations forces, likely Navy SEALs or Army Delta teams, were involved in the rescue operation. “In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home,” Kirby said.

Kirby indicated that the military will continue to seek to free the US hostages.

“The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can,” he said. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

The Islamic State is known to hold one American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who was captured near the Syria-Turkey border in August 2013. Kirby was clear that there are multiple hostages. At least three other Americans, Austin Tice, and two others who have not been named at the request of their families, are known to have disappeared in Syria. A US intelligence official told The Long War Journal that Tice and the other two Americans are also being held by the Islamic State.

The US has launched at least one other special operations raid in Syria since 2008. In October 2008, special operations forces killed Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who has been in charge of the group’s Syrian network since 2005, and several aides during a raid in Albu Kamal. The Al Nusrah Fornt, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, have named a training camp after Abu Ghadiya.

Military continues airstrikes against Islamic State despite threats

The military’s announcement of the hostage rescue operation took place just one day after the Islamic State beheaded James Wright Foley, an American journalist who was captured by the group in Binesh, Syria on Nov. 22, 2012. A videotape of the execution was released on the Internet.

The Islamic State has threatened to kill Soltoff if the US does not end the airstrikes against the jihadist group in northern Iraq.

“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the Foley’s executioner said as he grasped the collar of the orange jumpsuit worn by a terrified Sotloff.

But the US military said today that it is continuing air operations in Iraq. In a press release issued by US Central Command, the military said it executed 14 airstrikes against Islamic State “terrorists in support of Iraqi security force operations, using fighter, remotely piloted and attack aircraft.”

“The strikes destroyed or damaged six ISIL Humvees, three IED emplacements, one mortar tube, and two armed trucks,” CENTCOM said.

CENTCOM confirmed that the US military has launched “a total of 84 airstrikes across Iraq … and of those 84 strikes, 51 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.”

The US military aided the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga’s advance to retake the Mosul Dam and nearby towns after the Peshmerga withdrew with little opposition in early August.

Earlier today, US Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the Islamic State as “evil” in a statement condemning the execution of Foley.

Also see:

 

ISIS, James Foley and the President’s Tepid Response to the “Religion of Peace”

isis-foley-676x450

ISIS BEHEADS American Journalist James Foley in Video Message Released By ISIS

Thomas More Law Center:

As ISIS videotaped the brutal beheading of an American journalist, its spokesman, in perfect English, warned President Obama and the American people that more deaths are coming if the US does not submit to their demands. The President’s tepid response this afternoon was disappointing.

Even at this time of sorrow for the barbaric murder of Jim Foley, President Obama could not help but to give credence to the “good cop/bad cop” routine which Muslims have consistently used to blunt our ability to effectively deal with the true threat posed by radical Islam itself.

But Obama’s approach is not new.  For years Americans have endured the deception spewed out by politicians pandering for Muslim votes, our own government, and Muslim apologists that “Islam is a religion of peace”. . .

. . . even as fellow Americans were being blown to bits and murdered by Islamic terrorists, from the 9/11 attacks, to the Fort Hood massacre, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

And now, James Foley.

WWII could have been prevented and millions of lives saved if only our leaders had taken more seriously what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf and said in his speeches.

Koran-believing Muslims consider the slaughter of Americans moral and holy.

Let’s not make the same mistake with these jihadists as we did with Hitler.  Take them seriously.

The Koran commands Muslims to engage in a holy war (Jihad) in order to impose Islam and Shariah Law on the entire world.

“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in  wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood told a youth conference in Toledo, Ohio in 1998,

 “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America.”

The horrific 9/11 attacks were sanctioned by the Koran’s mandate to wage Jihad (holy war) against non-Muslims.  How can anyone call Islam a religion of peace!
  • “[D]ismember [the American] nation, tear them apart…destroy their embassies…shoot down their planes…kill them on land, at sea, and in the air.  Kill them wherever you find them.”
– Islamic cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (The Blind Sheikh)
  •   “The real matter is the extinction of America.  And, God willing, it will fall to the ground.”
                  – Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar
With the help of the Obama administration, Islamists have infiltrated the highest echelons of our government and are on the road to achieve their goal to destroy America from within — unless you and I do something about it.
  • Numerous Islamic terrorism experts who used to give hundreds of presentations on Islam’s true threat to America are now banned from speaking at government counter-terrorism classes and conferences.
  • General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered all training material used by military professional colleges and combat units scrubbed of any content offensive to Islam.
  • General Dempsey also caused the firing LTC Matthew Dooley as an  instructor at the National Defense University teaching the course on Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism because it was offense to Islam.  Up to that point LTC Dooley was a rising star in the military. (The Thomas More Law Center is representing LTC Dooley)
  • John Brennan (now Director of the CIA), during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argued that the terms “jihadist” or “jihad” should not be used to describe America’s enemies.  His reason: Jihad is a holy struggle and a legitimate tenet of Islam. 
  • Caving-in to Muslim demands, the FBI purged 876 pages and 392 presentations that were deemed offensive to Islam.
  • When Muslim U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 30 in the Fort Hood massacre, the government called it workplace violence.  The 86-page official report on this massacre didn’t once mention Muslim or Jihad.  But it mentioned workplace violence 16 times.
  • An Obama-appointed U.S. Attorney in Tennessee threatened to prosecute anyone who made inflammatory statements about Islam.

So how can we defeat our enemies if our leaders refuse to allow patriotic Americans  to accurately identify them!

Islam is more than a religion.  It is a political ideology that calls for Islamic domination of the world.  Moreover, it’s incumbent on Muslims to make war upon non-Muslims until all nations submit.

And that includes the United States.

This is what the co-founder of CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) said to a California audience in 1998:

 “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Also see:

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

muslimgroupcoalitionBreitbart, by CLARE M. LOPEZ:

In a chilling 14 August 2014 letter to Lisa O. Monaco, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor at the National Security Council (NSC), reminiscent of the Red Chinese and Soviet gulags, a group of 75 signatories urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state, and local law enforcement officers” who have been exposed to “anti-Muslim” training.

Former FBI counter-terrorism Special Agent, former head of the FBI SWAT team and former combat Marine John Guandolo– a member of the Center for Security Policy (CSP) Team B IIand Founder of Understanding the Threat– was singled out for particular criticism, as was FBI analyst William Gawthrop.

Among the signatories to the letter are CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations, the U.S. HAMAS wing), the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), which includes Helping Hand for Relief & Development USA, the charitable wing of Muslim Brotherhood front group, Islamic Circle of North America), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), whose Executive Committee includes the likes of Siraj Wahhaj (named an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Ihsan Bagby (member of several U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations including the Fiqh Council of North America, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)). To round out the Islamic representation, there are two Shi’ite affiliates, the Imam Hussain Islamic Center and Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA, which seems to have only a Facebook presence online).

Joining them in signing the letter was a gaggle of fellow travelers drawn from across a span of leftist organizations. Perhaps it’s all the ghastly publicity from the Middle East that’s been drawing attention to how Islamic Law (shariah) really looks when it’s implemented in all its barbaric fulsomeness. Or maybe the signatories just decided it was time for the old Red-Green alliance to reprise the glory days of its original efforts to remove training about how Islamic terrorism takes its inspiration from Islamic doctrine, when a 19 October 2011 letter to Monaco’s predecessor, John Brennan, succeeded in launching a U.S. government-wide purge of such curriculum. Then again, it’s possible somebody pulled out a dog-eared copy of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to review some tips on how to neutralize Guandolo’s stunningly effective law enforcement training about Islam, shariah, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Red-Green coalition obviously has realized (likely with dawning horror) that even if Guandolo weren’t still out there reaching sheriffs’ departments across the country, the residual effects of earlier pre-purge training still inform countless law enforcement counterterrorism programs. And the thought that such training lately must only be reinforced by the never-ending stream of atrocities out of the Middle East may have been just enough to tip the group over into serious panic. Hence the letter to Ms. Monaco to urge a little brainwashing, just to make sure nobody somehow connects any of those awful beheadings and crucifixions with Islam (see Qur’anic verses 8:12 and 5:32-33 for details).

First came the physical purge of the training materials. Now must follow the psychological purge of all those minds that absorbed that training. Stalin and Mao—never mind Qutb and Khomeini—would be so proud.

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

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REPORT: ISLAMIC STATE EXPANDING BY THE THOUSANDS

isis-marching-APBreitbart, by FRANCES MARTEL:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group dedicated to following the developments on the ground in the Syrian Civil War,tells Reuters that the jihadist terror group, the Islamic State (IS), has expanded by “at least 6,300″ jihadists in the past month, the fastest expansion of the organization to date.

Rami Abdelrahman, founder of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the news outlet that this expansion significantly enhances the Islamic State’s ability to grow its activities outside of strongholds. Reuters notes that anecdotal evidence from speaking to individuals living in Raqqa, Syria–the city the Islamic State has proclaimed its capital–corroborates the large increase in Islamic State members. While as many as one thousand of these recruits are international, the majority who have been enlisted into the terrorist group are Syrian.

Reuters cites the total number of Islamic State fighters at 15,000, but estimates vary. Al Jazeera is reporting that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights offered a number as large as 50,000 jihadists, including 20,000 foreigners from “Chechnya, China, Europe and Arab countries,” who had entered Syria mostly through Turkey. They also cite a source directly tied to the Islamic State telling the Qatari outlet that there were 30,000 active jihadists working for IS in Iraq.

The Islamic State’s media operation has dedicated much of its efforts to recruiting international jihadists to travel out of the West and into Iraq and Syria. The group’s Al Hayat Media outlet has released videos calling for Indonesian, Bosnian, Canadian, and other Western Muslims to abandon their families and move to Syria to fight jihad. One video specifically targeted UK and Australian Muslims to leave the West. Reports have surfaced that the Islamic State has even resorted to handing out free fried chicken vouchers to recruit Muslims to wage jihad on their behalf in the Middle East.

On the ground in Syria, the Islamic State also uses “preaching vans” to travel from town to town recruiting jihadists–this in addition to forcing religious minorities in areas they control to convert to Islam and pay the infidel’s tax (jizya), leave the area, or be killed. The Islamic State has been known not only to target and kill those of other religions, but execute fellow Sunni Muslims who are considered insufficiently extreme in their religious ideology. In June, Islamic State jihadists displayed the bodies of nine men crucified in Syria who were identified as anti-Assad Muslims rebels, but were not considered extreme enough in their embrace of jihad. They were, therefore, crucified as an example to others.

U.S. Airstrike Success Spurs Push for More Iraq Attacks

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter stands on top of Mosul Dam Tuesday. The strategically important structure was taken from militants earlier this week. Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin for The Wall Street Journal

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter stands on top of Mosul Dam Tuesday. The strategically important structure was taken from militants earlier this week. Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin for The Wall Street Journal

By DION NISSENBAUM:

WASHINGTON—The U.S. military’s recent success in weakening Islamic State extremists and pushing them away from a key dam in Iraq is creating momentum for a broader campaign that could take American air power to the militant group’s heartland northwest of Baghdad.

Military planners are considering new airstrikes to prevent militants with the Islamic State from taking control of another strategic site, the Haditha Dam, which lies in Iraq’s Sunni stronghold of Anbar Province, U.S. officials said Tuesday. Earlier this week, U.S. air power helped Kurdish forces reclaim the country’s largest dam, in Mosul, from the Sunni extremist group.

Islamic State responded to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq by releasing a video Tuesday that purportedly showed the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who was captured by Islamist militants in Syria in 2012. Dressed in prison orange pants and shirt and reading a prepared statement, the man identified in the video as Mr. Foley says that with the recent strikes, the U.S. “effectively hit the last nail in my coffin.”

The video shows another man dressed in orange, identified as freelance American journalist Steven Sotloff, whom the militant group threatens to behead, depending on President Barack Obama‘s “next decision.” Mr. Sotloff disappeared in Syria last summer.

In a statement, the National Security Council said it had seen the video and that “the intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity.”

Launching airstrikes to protect Haditha Dam would represent another expansion of American military involvement in Iraq, which President Barack Obama has sought to limit. It also would draw the U.S. deeper into conflict with the Islamic State organization, which Mr. Obama said this week poses a threat to the entire region.

The prospect of expanding America’s role has set off debate within the Obama administration and the military. White House and Pentagon concerns about the operation’s scope could ultimately scuttle military proposals to protect the Haditha Dam, which Iraqi officials said Tuesday was in danger of falling to advancing Islamic State fighters.

Still, military officials have been buoyed by a string of quick successes using limited American military power in Iraq. Since Mr. Obama authorized airstrikes on Aug. 8, U.S. bombing missions have helped halt the Sunni fighters’ advance on the Kurdish capital of Erbil, prevented Islamic State forces from eradicating the country’s Yazidi religious minority and wrested Mosul Dam from the extremist group’s hold.

“They are pretty well organized for the terrorist network that they are, but they are not 10 feet tall either, as we’ve seen,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said Tuesday. “We’ve begun to see that, through the use of these strikes, their morale is suffering, their competency and capacity has been damaged.”

Read more at WSJ

James Foley’s Sister Kelly: ‘Don’t Watch Video of my Brother’s Beheading’ #ISISMediaBlackout

Twitter users urged not to watch or share video of US journalist James Foley's beheading by 'British jihadist' in Syria(Nicole Tung/Free James Foley)

Twitter users urged not to watch or share video of US journalist James Foley’s beheading by ‘British jihadist’ in Syria(Nicole Tung/Free James Foley)

By Tabatha Kinder:

As the world reacts with horror to the graphic video apparently depicting the beheading of US photojournalist, James Foley by an Islamic State (IS) jihadist with a British accent, Twitter users are calling for a media backlash against the propaganda released by the militants.

The hashtag #ISISMediaBlackout began trending shortly after the video was released by IS on YouTube on Tuesday night, as Twitter users urged others not to share the video or any other graphicimages released by the terrorist organisation.

The trend appears to have originated with a woman using the Twitter handle @LibyaLiberty. She wrote: “Amputate their reach. Pour water on their flame.

From here on out, I won’t share any photo or video of violence intentionally recorded & released by ISIS for propaganda. #ISISMediaBlackout”

Isis

Twitter @LibyaLiberty

The video of Foley’s purported killing was removed from YouTube shortly after it was put online.Graphic still images from the video have also been removed from Twitter, but the video continues to circulate on other websites.

Foley’s sister Kelly has also implored people on Twitter not to watch or share the video of her brother’s apparent beheading.

Many believe that sharing the images of Foley’s gruesome killing on social media plays into the hands of the Jihadist group, whose large social media presence has been a key tool in recruiting new members and in disseminating their islamist ideology to the world.

Wajahat Ali, an al-Jazeera America journalist, said: “Don’t share ISIS’s beheading video of journalist #jamesfoley. That’s what they want – don’t give them the satisfaction.”

Isis

Twitter @WajahatAli

Others say images like this result in mass desensitisation to violence, which leads to a global acceptance of violence.

An Iraqi Twitter user named Sajad Jiyad wrote: “In Iraq our children became desensitised to images of killings because it’s always shown, don’t let that happen elsewhere.”

Read more at International Business Times

U.S. Must Hit Islamic State Hard After U.S. Journalist Beheaded

From the Islamic State's video of American journalist James Foley's beheading

From the Islamic State’s video of American journalist James Foley’s beheading

By Ryan Mauro:

The Islamic State has beheaded American journalist James Foley and is promising to do the same to missing American reporter Steven Sotloff if the U.S. does end its air strikes against the jihadist group in Iraq. Islamic State supporters are ecstatic on Twitter.

The U.S. must respond immediately to deliver the Islamic State a blow that is impossible to dismiss.

It was a bad week for the Islamic State. U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, including female fighters, are battling the Islamic State and recently succeeded in taking back the strategic Mosul dam. American airstrikes are giving Iraqis hope that the success of the Islamic State has peaked.

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki has resigned, resulting in Sunni tribal leaders declaring their support for Iraq’s new Shiite President and willingness to work with a new Iraqi government in fighting the Islamic State in return for autonomy.

These events took the momentum away from the Islamic State, and the terrorist group had to change the headlines. And it did.

The Islamic State murdered Foley, who was probably transferred to the Islamic State  from the Syrian regime that it is fighting to overthrow. That sounds counterintuitive, but Bashar Assad has a complicated strategy aimed at ensuring that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda dominate his opposition.

Even though the Islamic State is calling on its supporters to kill any American anywhere, social media accounts of Islamic State supporters reviewed by the Clarion Project specifically tried to pre-empt criticism over the murder of an unarmed journalist. Photos posted of him in military fatigues are common, as are claims that he was secretly working for the U.S. government. One account described him as a “member of the Crusader army.”

The video of the beheading that the Islamic State released on YouTube showed footage of Saudi King Abdullah, indicating he is the next target. Clarion Project previously reported on an Islamic State graphic indicating that offensives into Jordan and Saudi Arabia were planned, even before conquering Baghdad and southern Iraq.

A senior U.S. official made an alarming admission. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Brett McGurk said the Islamic State is now a bigger threat than Al Qaeda. “[The Islamic State] is better equipped, they’re better manned, they’re better resourced, they’re better fighters, they’re better trained than the Al-Qaeda in Iraq that our forces faced,” he said.

Read more at Clarion Project

Edward Said: Oppressed Fraud

edward-saidBy Daniel Greenfield:

Edward Said was the world’s second most famous Palestinian. And much like Palestine, his biography was a fake and his culture was nothing more than the advocacy of a perpetual supremacist conflict against the indigenous Jewish inhabitants whom the colonial myth of Palestine was meant to displace.

The great genius of Arab and Islamic supremacism was their pretense that the Jewish story of an indigenous minority resisting their colonialism was really their own story. Having failed to destroy every culture that they had conquered, they instead appropriated their stories, painting their fallen empires as the tragic victims of the imperialism of the very people whom they had conquered and oppressed.

Arabs and Muslims still remained the dominant and domineering group in the Middle East repressing other cultures and religions from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, but they flipped the history books over so that the descendants of caliphs and conquerors who had ground the Jews and other indigenous peoples under their boots could reinvent themselves as the victims of Jewish oppression. The members of vast families and clans spanning the Middle East selectively embraced a Palestinian identity if they happened, at any point in their lives, to find themselves within the borders of the Jewish State.

That is both the larger theme of Joshua Muravchik’s Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel and of its chapter on Edward Said, who helped turn the history books upside down.

Like many of the professionally oppressed, Edward Said came from wealth and privilege. Like Arafat, the world’s most famous Palestinian, Said, the world’s second most famous Palestinian came out of Cairo.

His childhood in “Palestine” was as much of a fiction as Palestine itself. Instead his mother had traveled to give birth in Jerusalem to take advantage of Jewish medical expertise. From that tiny act of occupation came the vast cultural appropriation that the newly baptized “Palestinian” would go on to inflict on the indigenous inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Edward Said’s career trajectory took him deep within academia where he denounced rival scholars for constructing simplistic stereotypes of the Middle East by constructing a simplistic stereotype of them as “Orientalists” who were “othering” the east.

In a typically tribal display of hypocrisy, Edward Said was othering the very people he was accusing of othering his own people.

What Edward Said lacked in scholarship (he thought that the Islamic conquest of what is today Turkey had taken place before the conquest of North Africa) and honesty (he claimed that the PLO rejected terrorism) he more than made up for in manufactured outrage, as Joshua Muravchik documents.

Edward Said transformed the Muslim and Arab colonists into the oppressed indigenous peoples pitted against European colonizers. The complex nuanced realities of legitimate scholars who recognized that Europeans and Arabs had both been imperialists and colonizers in their time were swept aside by Said’s nationalistic polemics.

By damning legitimate scholars as racist colonialist Orientalists, Edward Said was able to impose his own racist and colonialist revisionist history on academia.

The New Left had made Third World nationalism into its new creed. Said’s support of the PLO made him a voice for justice no matter how many lies he told or how his botched scholarship perverted history. Third World nationalists could legitimately call on Western guilt and act as moral voices on campus at the behest of a left that glibly assumed that only political terror would end the cycle of oppression.

Read more at Front Page

War Leaves Hamas Battered as Israel Gives Diplomacy a Chance

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
August 19, 2014

1049The summer war that has raged between Hamas in Gaza and Israel has left the Islamist terrorist organization battered and bruised. Its offensive tunnel capabilities lie in ruins, while its rocket arsenal near depletion.

The war began when Hamas launched heavy rocket salvos at Israeli cities in July, and then rejected multiple Egyptian-media truce offers. Hamas’s decision to go to war proved to be very costly, and it is now attempting to salvage some gains through a round of indirect negotiations with Israel in Cairo.

Israeli intelligence agencies heard chatter in Gaza about an impending conflict several months before it began. The Israel Defense Force’s Southern Command quietly prepared for the clash, and senior army sources say the fruit of these diligent preparations are apparent today.

Despite its bravado, claims of victory, and public rhetoric, and irrespective of its long list of demands, many of which are unrealistic and will not be met – like Hamas’s demand for a seaport in Gaza – Hamas is negotiating from a position of weakness. Its posturing is aimed at domestic consumption, and is also an attempt to convince the Israeli public that the mere fact Hamas survived the war, and continued shooting projectiles, represents a defeat for Israel.

In fact, Israel deliberately refrained from seeking to destroy Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades. The defense establishment believes that it is in Israel’s interest to have a weakened, single address in Gaza, responsible for governing the Strip, and capable of enforcing a truce. Most importantly, any entity ruling Gaza must be responsive to Israeli deterrence.

If Hamas is toppled, the reasoning in the Israeli defense establishment goes, it may be replaced by an assortment of jihadist militias, creating an even more chaotic situation in which deterrence becomes impossible, and where Gaza would resemble Somalia.

The first two stages of the Israeli operation against Hamas – air strikes and a limited ground offensive – test the idea that Hamas can still be deterred. Should Hamas resume hostilities and prove that it is immune to deterrence, despite the wide-scale damage it has brought on itself and to the people of Gaza, the IDF has prepared operational plans for a full-scale ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, aimed at the destruction of Hamas’s military wing.

IDF ground forces continue to be positioned along the Gaza border, and await instructions from the security cabinet after completing preparations for the possibility of renewed fighting.

A damage assessment of Hamas’s military capabilities thus far reveals the true extent of the price it has paid for its aggression against Israeli civilians. During the war, the IDF destroyed nearly 5,000 targets, most of which were planted by Hamas deep inside Gaza civilian areas. The targets included 1,700 rocket launchers and sites used to store the projectiles. Hamas lost around 1,000 command and control centers – most of which were based in the homes of Hamas field commanders. Another 1,000 targets that threatened advancing IDF units on the ground were destroyed. Israel also struck 240 Hamas regime buildings that were used by its military wing in terrorist-guerilla operations, 200 rocket factories, and a myriad of additional targets.

Gaza terror factions began the war with an arsenal of about 9,000 rockets. Today, under a third of that arsenal remains, due to depletion or destruction by Israel Air Force strikes.

Rocket attacks proved highly ineffective in Hamas’s goal of sowing death and destruction in Israeli cities. Nevertheless, daily rocket attacks on millions of Israelis paralyzed ordinary life and spread fear among the public.

It was the performance of the Iron Dome air defense system that prevented mass casualties and large-scale wreckage in Israel. Nine Iron Dome batteries deployed across Israel intercepted 90 percent of all targeted rockets heading towards populated Israeli regions, while the remainder of rockets mostly fell in uninhabited areas.

Some 3,400 rockets were fired into Israel, and Israeli civilians were forced to deal with the psychological terror and daily disruption of air raid sirens, and the need to quickly take cover. In physical terms, however, Hamas’s rocket arsenal was rendered largely useless by Iron Dome. All of the rockets fired by Hamas were produced in Gaza’s flourishing arms industry, which rose up after Egypt blocked smuggling tunnels linking the Strip to the Sinai Peninsula. Previously, those tunnels were used by Iran to export weapons to Hamas.

Israeli villages and agricultural regions bordering the Gaza Strip fared worse than the rest of the country. These areas were exposed to constant mortar shells fired from Gaza and the threat of cross-border tunnels. Residents abandoned much of the area, becoming internally displaced persons during the war.

Hamas’s second disappointment came when its elaborate network of underground attack tunnels it dug from Gaza into Israel were destroyed before they could be used in grand terrorist attacks against Israeli border villages and army bases. Hamas spent tens of millions of dollars building the heavily fortified tunnels, which were supposed to be used to launch indiscriminate killing sprees and kidnap soldiers.

Although a few of the tunnels were used by Hamas cells to launch deadly raids on Israeli army units that protected villages in the south of the country, the majority of the tunnels had been mapped out by military intelligence, and were destroyed during the course of the ground offensive. During this stage of the fighting, Israeli infantry, armored, and combat engineering units reached tunnel shafts, and proceeded to destroy the underground structures using liquid explosive. Hamas’s regional battalions mounted a stiff defense of the tunnels, firing a very large number of RPGs, mortar shells, sniper rounds, and automatic fire from Palestinian civilian areas at the army. Hamas guerillas used an internal Gaza tunnel network to launch hit-and-run attacks. They also booby-trapped large numbers of Palestinian residential buildings.

Nevertheless, the IDF destroyed all of the attack tunnels – 32 it knew about – taking two weeks to complete the mission. It took Hamas five years and a great deal of treasure to build up its underground warfare capability, but this was ruined by the Israeli army in little time.

The tunnels, complete with telephone lines, electricity, and rail cars, were built with cement sent into Gaza for the purpose of civilian construction projects, such as schools and medical clinics.

Sixty four IDF soldiers and officers were killed in the battle to destroy the tunnels, and three Israeli civilians were killed by projectiles. But Hamas, and to a smaller extent, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, lost several hundred terrorists in combat with soldiers. Between 900 and 1,000 terrorists were killed by the army in Gaza clashes, according to Israeli intelligence evaluations. According to Hamas medical sources, nearly 2,000 Gazans were killed in the conflict. That would put the civilian/combatant casualty ratio at roughly 1:1, a rate IDF sources say is one of the lowest in recent wars by a Western military against an asymmetrical foe. By comparison, NATO’s operations in Afghanistan have resulted, according to reports, in a 3:1 civilian/combatant casualty ratio.

Hamas also spent years developing its own drone program, but when it tried to send these into Israel during the war, the IAF detected the threat and shot them down. Additionally, a Hamas naval commando unit attempted to infiltrate the country via a southern Israeli beach, but it too was detected by the military, and its members were swiftly killed.

Israel’s operations in Gaza included, for the first time, a fully integrated joint forces command and control network. This system allowed infantry units, navy missile ships, tanks, fighter jets, artillery units and drones to share real-time intelligence on targets, and to synchronize their firepower. All of these forces were also linked up to military intelligence, allowing for new and critical information on threats in the sectors of units in combat to be transmitted in seconds.

For example, when the army obtained vital information from Hamas detainees on booby- trapped homes in the vicinity of an infantry unit, information was immediately sent to the infantry commanders, enabling them to take evasive action.

The big question now is whether Israel’s military success will convince Hamas to end its belligerent course.

Tuesday afternoon brought reason for doubt. Three medium-range rockets were fired at the Negev city of Beersheba, prompting swift Israeli air strikes on targets in northern Gaza. Israel recalled its negotiators from Cairo in response, and the coming hours will be crucial in charting the course of future developments.

If Hamas chooses to resume attacks on Israel, it is likely that the IDF will be ordered to target the remaining components of Hamas’s terrorist-guerilla army. This time around, the goal will be to defeat Hamas, rather than deter it.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

Sherman’s 300,000 and the Caliphate’s Three Million

Middle East Forum:

by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
August 12, 2014

553When General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the city of Atlanta in 1864, he warned, “I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Add a zero to calibrate the problem in the Levant today. War in the Middle East is less a strategic than a demographic phenomenon, the resolution of which will come with the exhaustion of the pool of potential fighters.

The Middle East has plunged into a new Thirty Years War, allows Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations:

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeking to defend their interests and increase their influence. Conflicts take place within and between states; civil wars and proxy wars become impossible to distinguish. Governments often forfeit control to smaller groups – militias and the like – operating within and across borders. The loss of life is devastating, and millions are rendered homeless.

Well and good: I predicted in 2006 that the George W. Bush administration’s blunder would provoke another Thirty Years War in the region, and repeated the diagnosis many times since. But I doubt that Mr. Haass (or Walter Russell Mead, who cited the Haass article) has given sufficient thought to the implications.

How does one handle wars of this sort? In 2008, I argued for a “Richelovian” foreign policy, that is, emulation of the evil genius who guided France to victory at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648. Wars of this sort end when two generations of fighters are killed. They last for decades (as did the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the 20th century) because one kills off the fathers in the first half of the war, and the sons in the second.

This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.

The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of those who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.

It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration, compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient bombing of Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, warned Bush that America’s occupation army in Iraq had become hostage to Iranian retaliation: if America bombed Iran, Iran could exact vengeance in American blood in the cities of Iraq. Then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen told Charlie Rose on March 16, 2009:

What I worry about in terms of an attack on Iran is, in addition to the immediate effect, the effect of the attack, it’s the unintended consequences. It’s the further destabilization in the region. It’s how they would respond. We have lots of Americans who live in that region who are under the threat envelope right now [because of the] capability that Iran has across the Gulf. So, I worry about their responses and I worry about it escalating in ways that we couldn’t predict.

The Bush administration was too timid to take on Iran; the Obama administration views Iran as a prospective ally. Even Neville Chamberlain did not regard Hitler as prospective partner in European security. But that is what Barack Obama said in March to journalist Jeffrey Goldberg:

What I’ll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they’re not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn’t to say that they aren’t a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they’re not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives.

Bush may have been feckless, but Obama is mad.

With Iran neutralized, Syrian President Basher Assad would have had no choice but to come to terms with Syria’s Sunni majority; as it happens, he had the firepower to expel millions of them. Without the protection of Tehran, Iraq’s Shia would have had to compromise with Sunnis and Kurds. Iraqi Sunnis would not have allied with ISIS against the Iranian-backed regime in Baghdad. A million or more Iraqis would not have been displaced by the metastasizing Caliphate.

The occupation of Iraq in the pursuit of nation building was colossally stupid. It wasted thousands of lives and disrupted millions, cost the better part of a trillion dollars, and demoralized the American public like no failure since Vietnam – most of all America’s young people. Not only did it fail to accomplish its objective, but it kept America stuck in a tar-baby trap, unable to take action against the region’s main malefactor. Worst of all: the methods America employed in order to give the Iraq war the temporary appearance of success set in motion the disaster we have today. I warned of this in a May 4, 2010 essay entitled, General Petraeus’ Thirty Years War (Asia Times Online, May 4, 2010).

The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America’s Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus’ putative success in the Iraq “surge” of 2007-2008 is one of the weirder cases of Karl Marx’s quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous.

Wallenstein put 100,000 men into the field, an army of terrifying size for the times, by turning the imperial army into a parasite that consumed the livelihood of the empire’s home provinces. The Austrian Empire fired him in 1629 after five years of depredation, but pressed him back into service in 1631. Those who were left alive joined the army, in a self-feeding spiral of destruction on a scale not seen in Europe since the 8th century. Wallenstein’s power grew with the implosion of civil society, and the Austrian emperor had him murdered in 1634.

Petraeus accomplished the same thing with (literally) bags of money. Starting with Iraq, the American military has militarized large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the name of pacification. And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reason to use them.

There is no way to rewind the tape after the fragile ties of traditional society have been ripped to shreds by war. All of this was foreseeable; most of it might have been averted. But the sordid players in this tragicomedy had too much reputation at stake to reverse course when it still was possible. Now they will spend the declining years of their careers blaming each other.

Three million men will have to die before the butchery comes to an end. That is roughly the number of men who have nothing to go back to, and will fight to the death rather than surrender.

ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. The Saudi and Jordanian air forces are quite capable of defending their borders. Saudi Arabia has over 300 F-15′s and 72 Typhoons, and more than 80 Apache attack helicopters. Jordan has 60 F16′s as well as 25 Cobra attack helicopters. The putative Caliphate can be contained; it cannot break out into Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and it cannot advance far into the core Shia territory of Iraq. It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.

Ultimately, ISIS is a distraction. The problem is Iran. Without Iran, Hamas would have no capacity to strike Israel beyond a few dozen kilometers past the Gaza border. Iran now has GPS-guided missiles which are much harder to shoot down than ordinary ballistic missiles (an unguided missile has a trajectory that is easy to calculate after launch; guided missiles squirrel about seeking their targets). If Hamas acquires such rockets – and it will eventually if left to its own devices – Israel will have to strike further, harder and deeper to eliminate the threat. That confrontation will not come within a year, and possibly not within five years, but it looms over the present hostilities. The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.

David P Goldman is Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the Was Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum. His book How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying, Too) was published by Regnery Press in September 2011. A volume of his essays on culture, religion and economics, It’s Not the End of the World – It’s Just the End of You, also appeared that fall, from Van Praag Press.

Islamic State Beheads American, Threatens Second American

isil-journalistIPT, by John Rossomando:

Islamic State terrorists made good Tuesday on threats to kill Americans if President Obama launched airstrikes against terrorist strongholds in Iraq.

Jihadists released a video of an American identified as James Wright Foley, 40, being beheaded while wearing an orange prison-style jumpsuit similar to those worn by detainees as Guantanamo Bay. An “organized gang” had kidnapped Foley –freelance photojournalist from Rochester, N.H. while working for Agence France Presse – from an Internet café in Binesh, Syria on Nov. 22, 2012.

A masked jihadist wearing all black is shown in the graphic video cutting off Foley’s head. The video quickly was taken down.

A Twitter post showing an image of the beheading blames President Obama: “Looke (sic) Obama. You Killed this man.”

The video opened with Obama announcing airstrikes against the Islamic State and cuts to a title “A Message to America. ” Foley is shown kneeling next to the jihadist.

“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers – the U.S. government,” Foley said before his beheading. “What will happen to me is only the result of their complacency and criminality. I have a message to my beloved parents, ‘Don’t accept any meager compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq.'”

Foley then exhorts his brother, John, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, to think about the lives he destroys and about President Obama’s decision to bomb Iraq. “When your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people, they signed my death certificate,” Foley said.

The jihadist then chastises the U.S. government about its “aggression” against the Islamic State, saying the U.S. Air Force attacks its forces daily in Iraq and caused casualties among Muslims.

“You are no longer fighting an insurgency; we are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide,” the jihadist said in accented English before killing Foley. “Aggression against the Islamic State is aggression against Muslims worldwide. They have accepted the Islamic caliphate as their leadership.”

He concludes by telling Obama that he has deprived Muslims living under the Islamic State’s rule of their right to live in safety and therefore his decision will result in American bloodshed.

The video concludes with the jihadist standing next to an American identified as Steven Joel Sotloff, a Pinecrest, Fla. native who wrote articles for Foreign Policymagazine, dressed in the same sort of orange jumpsuit Foley wore. Sotloff’s fate is in Obama’s hands, the jihadist said.

A Twitter post from an account @ Aldawlawy showing Sotloff being threatened says, “Message to # America from the Caliphate State @ BarackObama : The life of this American [next] on your Decision # ISIS.”

Black Flag in Jersey: A Jihadist Identifier Camouflaged

bb-450x336by Dawn Perlmutter:

On Tuesday August 12, Marc Leibowitz alerted Homeland Security that a black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) was hanging on a house in Garwood, New Jersey. As a former Israeli paratrooper he understood the importance of reporting suspicious activity. The black flag that was hanging in New Jersey is an indisputable identifier of jihadist terrorist groups including al-Qaeda. It is one of several variations of the ‘Black Flags of Jihad’. It is a variant design of the Black Standard Al-Rāya flag a.k.a. The Black Banner, Banner of the Eagle and The Banner. The white writing is the shahada, the declaration of Islamic faith: There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. In this variant the second phrase of the shahada is in the form of the historical signet ring seal of the Prophet Muhammad in the center circle. The black flag is found in terrorist emblems, websites and often appears in violent protests. On September 11, 2012 angry protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and replaced the American flag with the same black flag that was hanging on the porch in this Jersey neighborhood.

The black flag signifies the battle flag of the Prophet Muhammad. It also denotes an end times concept called the Black Flags of Khorasan that refers to a Muslim Army that will rise from the land of Khorasan carrying black flags/banners. Khorasan is a geographic area that includes parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. According to hadiths this army will conquer several occupied lands of Muslims till it reaches Jerusalem. The final battle is to take place in the Levant – Israel, Syria, and Lebanon. The name of the terrorist group ISIS, an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham refers to the historical geographic area known as the Levant. Hence, the alternative acronym for their name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Al-Sham denotes the province of Bilad al-Sham that was established after the Muslim conquest of Syria. It includes what today is Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and part of Turkey. In 661 Bilad al-Sham became the seat of power of the Muslim Caliphate. The symbolism of the ISIS army’s name and black flag signifies the territory it plans to conquer as it reclaims the province of Bilad al-sham during its expansion of a new Islamic Caliphate.

Either Mark Dunaway, the 44 year old, who was flying the black flag on his home, is sympathetic to the goals of global jihad or the Muslim convert is one of their useful idiots, with the emphasis on idiot. Dunaway denied knowing what the flag represents or that he ever intended to offer support to ISIS. Symbolic evidence should always be analyzed in the context of other identifiers. Dunaway’s black flag was hanging next to what appeared to be the Turkish national flag, a red flag with the Islamic star and crescent on it. Dunaway not only claimed that he didn’t know that he had hung the ISIS flag he also insisted that the flag he hung next to it was simply a ‘flag of Islam.’ Refusing to acknowledge it is a Turkish flag is suspicious. If it was just a flag of Islam why didn’t he choose one of many other countries flags that display the star and crescent? Perhaps he didn’t want a known affiliation with Turkey. Recent reports revealed that there has been significant recruitment of Turks by ISIS, that at least 1,000 Turks were fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria and that Turkey provided Sunni jihadists, including ISIS, funding, arms and sanctuary. The Turkish flag is almost identical to the last flag of the Ottoman Empire, the only difference are slight variations in the proportions of the star and crescent. The Ottoman Empire, the last Caliphate, was abolished in 1924. The two flags together symbolize the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. A new Islamic Caliphate is precisely what ISIS decreed when it renamed itself Islamic State.

Dunaway also claimed that he has been hanging the flag for ten years. If this is true, it is hard to believe that he did not know what it represented and even more disturbing that it was not recognized by anyone until now. This demonstrates how many people are unaware of the signs and symbols of jihad. Neighbors characterized Dunaway as a loner, one woman said that he is ‘totally harmless’. Of course neighbors of serial killers often say similar things. In FrontPage Mag Daniel Greenfield established that Dunaway may have Islamist sympathies and is not as innocent as he professed.

“A Facebook page that appears to be his shows that he ‘liked’ Zaid Shakir and Bilal Philips. Both are vile bigots and terrorism supporters. Philips was also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the World Trade Center bombing. He also likes Khalid Yassin who called for killing gays and the Wahhabist Abubakar Gumi. Also liked was Abu Mussab Wajdi Akkari and the Islamic Emirate. These are the sorts of figures you might like if you’re a convert with Islamist sympathies. These are the sorts of Muslim figures that you’re more likely to like if you have a Salafist orientation. These are the sorts of Islamic leaders who are fairly blunt about calling for the full force of Islamic law to come down on anyone and everyone… including the United States.”

The obvious question is where did Dunaway get the black flag from, it’s not like you can just buy it at a flag store or a gift shop. Although jihadi flags, t-shirts and other terrorist gear can be purchased on-line through militant shops that operate on e-bay, Facebook and other venues. Dunaway claimed that a friend gave the flag to him years ago. If true, was it part of his recruitment process or like other homegrown terrorists was he radicalized on-line? This would not be the first time that black flags were identifiers of radicalization. Tamerlan Tsarnaev one of the Boston Marathon bombers posted a video on his YouTube page titled, The Emergence of Prophecy: The Black Flags From Khorasan.

Read more at Front Page

Why Is the Islamic State Behaving This Way?

390510-456a0a56-fa56-11e3-9463-539ac6ca705b-450x314By Robert Spencer:

The Islamic State is turning into a huge public relations problem for groups like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies. For years they have insisted that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorism committed with alarming regularity in its name, and that the people responsible for linking Islam with terrorism were not Islamic jihad terrorists, but “Islamophobic” opponents of jihad terror. But then comes along a group calling itself The Islamic State, committing unimaginable atrocities and presenting each one as an authentic embodiment of Islamic texts and teachings, and the deception campaign at which CAIR officials have labored so assiduously for so many years, and with such great success, is in danger of crashing around their uneasy necks.

Take, for example, the recent revelation that, according to the UN News Centre, “some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.” A similar kidnapping by Islamic jihadists in Nigeria recently horrified the world, but much overlooked was the fact that such behavior is sanctioned by the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).

These passages have not gone unnoticed. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that meant Muslims would take slaves. In a subsequent interview he elaborated:

Jihad is only between Muslims and infidels. Spoils, slaves, and prisoners are only to be taken in war between Muslims and infidels. Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries. This is agreed to by all scholars—there is no disagreement on this from any of them, from the smallest to the largest, on the issue of taking spoils and prisoners. The prisoners and spoils are distributed among the fighters, which includes men, women, children, wealth, and so on.

When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Koran 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point—there is no disagreement from any of them. [...] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.

Around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality.

Read more at Front Page

Also see:

Islam’s dilemma over the Islamic State

Cooperation over confronting the threat is missing
 August 18, 2014:

The jihadist forces of the Islamic State are strewing a path of atrocities, destruction and conquest across the heartland of the Middle East. They thrust down into Iraq from Syrian battlefields in June 2014, sweeping all before them, including thousands of Iraqi army troops who abandoned uniforms and top-of-the-line U.S. weaponry as they fled south to Baghdad.

Who stands between the Islamic State and its dream of a global caliphate? The Kurds are doing their best with a Peshmerga spirit but outdated weaponry. The United States and some European allies have begun to intervene militarily. Saudi King Abdullah gave a couple of speeches imploring his fellow Muslims to do something. Iran reportedly sent Gen. Qassem Suleimani and some Qods Force advisers to buck up its tottering puppet regime in Baghdad. The question is, where are the rest of the region’s Muslims, those supposedly so threatened by what the Islamic State represents? The silence from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has been positively deafening. Above all, Gen. Suleimani and the Qods Force notwithstanding, what is Iran really doing to take the fight to the Islamic State and roll back its advances?

A directionless U.S. national security leadership helps explain why the United States can’t seem to figure out who’s the enemy (this week) or what to do about it all. As long as the Islamic State was still the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), fighting (at least occasionally) against the Iranian-backed regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, the U.S. along with assorted companions of dubious pedigree — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood — channeled aid, intelligence, training and weapons to Syrian rebels, some of whom were of likewise dubious pedigree. But now that ISIS has morphed into the far more ambitious and dangerous Islamic State (or simply, the Caliphate), it seems to be another story. In between rounds of golf, even President Obama has expressed something akin to alarm.

The problem, as Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracy pointed out recently, is that the United States has no “overarching strategy.” What Mr. May and others term (the politically correct) “jihadism,” in fact is nothing other than the purest expression of Islamic doctrine, law and scripture that has been waging wars of conquest against the non-Muslim world for more than 1,300 years. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, after all, earned a doctorate in Islamic studies from a Baghdad university. Like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri and others before him, he cites with specificity Islamic law and scripture to underscore the justification of his jihad. However, thanks to massive penetration of the top levels of U.S. national security leadership, which collaborated with affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to effect a governmentwide purge of training materials about such topics, the American ability to name the enemy and take the offense to confront and defeat his threat doctrine has been neutralized. So we see the Obama administration jerking from response to response, sending Libyan weapons and training future ISIS recruits in Jordan one day, bombing the Islamic State positions inside Iraq the next, too tongue-tied to identify the Islamic ideology at the root of the whole mess.

Andrew Bostom nailed it in an Aug. 17 tweet in which he asked, “Whither the Muslim-led coalition to crush ‘un-Islamic [Islamic State] drawn from vast, modern-equipped militaries of Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, et al?” Yousef al-Qaradawi, senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood, bleated something about how al-Baghdadi’s declaration of a caliphate was “void,” according to Islamic law. No call to arms here, though, and certainly nothing at the level of his thundering fatwas endorsing suicide bombings against American troops in Iraq or Israelis. Even when the Islamic State calls the Shia “rafidah,” meaning deviants (from the “true Islam”), and jihadis flock from all over the world to volunteer for suicide missions to blow up Shia shrines, the most Iran seems to be doing is helping defend the ones that are left and making sure the Islamic State doesn’t capture Baghdad.

That leads to the nagging concern at the back of all this: What if the reason neither the ostensibly petrified Arab Muslim regimes nor the supposedly directly targeted Shia have called an emergency session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to denounce the “un-Islamic” Islamic State is because it really isn’t all that “un-Islamic” to want to re-establish the caliphate or enforce Islamic law (Shariah)? None of them wants to lose his throne — or his head — to the bloodthirsty thugs, but how to condemn something that Muhammad and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs who followed him did on a much grander scale?

Read more at The Washington Times

Clare M. Lopez is the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.